Get Your Flu Vaccine, New York!
Governor Cuomo last week reminded all New Yorkers to get a flu shot for the upcoming flu season, which usually begins in October and runs through May.
During the 2018-19 flu season, there were an astounding 18,768 flu-associated hospitalizations in the state and six pediatric deaths. According to the New York State Department of Health, anyone over 6 months of age should get a flu vaccination to protect themselves during the flu season.
Please, get a flu shot. If not for you do it for New York City.
If you’re like me, listening to New Yorkers debate whether or not to get the flu shot is infuriating. Community immunity occurs when a large portion of the population becomes immune to an infectious disease, making its chances of spreading much less likely. This percentage varies by type of disease. The measles requires 90-95 of the population to be vaccinated to prevent its spread. The flu shot, however, only requires 70% of people to get it to prevent widespread outbreaks!
According to a study conducted by the New York State Department of Health, one-third of children under 5 were not vaccinated during 2017-18, and only 44% of people 18 years and older got the flu shot.
In 2017, Governor Cuomo passed executive order number number 176, which allows “licenced pharmacists to vaccinate children between two years and 18 years of age” in New York state. This came after more than 25,000 confirmed cases popped up in the NYC metro area early in the 2017-18 flu season.
That means that it is easier than ever to get a flu vaccination. New York state has helpful tools like the New York State flu vaccine finder that show you the closest locations for flu vaccinations. If you have health insurance, then your flu vaccination is likely free!
If you’re interested in tracking flu activity on your own, The New York State influenza activity report is a weekly updated report on the current status and spread of influenza in New York. The New York State Flu Tracker is an even more detailed version of the activity report, and breaks down cases into locales. Click here for a demonstration on how you can use the New York City Flu Tracker. Even though this is the very beginning of the flu season, there were 69 flu cases in New York City in the first week of October alone!
Get your vaccines New York!